Catch up on the latest news and happenings around the state.



In this Issue...

Photo of the Month

Early Morning Squid Jigging

Thanks to local Des Moines photographer Larry Gallier for his picture of early risers squid jigging from the Des Moines Marina fishing pier on the morning of December 22, 2019.

Do you have a must-see photo? Submit your photos via email to [email protected].

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How Do You Recreate?

It takes on to snow one!

The City of Spokane’s very own Ryan Griffith, Assistant Recreation Director and Supervisor of Outdoor Recreation leads an increasingly popular snowshoeing trip through Mt. Spokane State Park (one of the many winter trips hosted by Spokane Parks and Recreation). A popular winter sports destination, Mt. Spokane provides easy access to a winter wonderland. This year-round recreational gem boasts one of the inland Northwest's tallest peaks at 5889 feet; it is also Washington's largest state park.

If you have a photo to share, please submit it to [email protected].

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Spotlight Professional: Doug Levey
Get to know WRPA’s hard-working lobbyist Doug Levy.

Doug Levey helps us to enact our top legislative priorities including urging the State Legislature to move forward with adoption the Capital Budget, to protect funding for dedicated accounts within the Capital Budget, and to work toward future initiatives to discover funding/financing options to address parks and recreation maintenance and operations. Learn more about Doug and the upcoming Legislative Day

Doug's Favorite Part of the Job

"I thoroughly enjoy working on issues, projects, funding initiatives, and pieces of legislation that make a difference for local parks agencies and the people who run them. And I love interacting with local parks professionals who by their very nature are can-do, positive, healthy people."

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Walk-In to Register Will Be Available for Risk Management School
February 3 - 4, 2020 | Renton Community Center

Join us at Risk Management School (RMS) for two days of networking, quality education, and professional development. This program is specifically designed for parks and recreation administrators, managers and supervisors. The curriculum also is appropriate for public works professionals, attorneys, school district personnel and risk managers, as well as port districts, public utility districts, YMCA and other non-profit organizations and related fields.

Review the 2020 RMS Schedule and learn more about this year's topics including Program Administration, Staff Training, Legal & Insurance, Emergency & Crisis Response, and Events.

WRPA Member Rates

Non-Member Rates
$339 Flat Rate

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WWRC/WRPA /Legislative Day Is Right Around the Corner
February 6, 2020 | Woman's Club of Olympia

Join the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition and the Washington Recreation & Park Association at our annual Parks and Great Outdoors Legislative Day in Olympia! Help us advocate for our state’s premier outdoors fund, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP), and tell your legislators why Washington’s parks, wildlife habitat areas, and working lands deserve to be funded.

Never met with a legislator before? Don’t worry; we will be sure you have everything you need.

Registration Rates

WWRC & WRPA Members: Free  |  Non-Member: $25
Reception at the Governor's Mansion: $75

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New at Conference 2020
We are embracing equity, first-time attendees, and a learning lab!

The 2020 Conference & Tradeshow in Tacoma, WA, gives us the chance to celebrate another great year for the recreation and parks industry and to celebrate our theme of "Embracing Equity".

This year, WRPA wanted to be able to provide additional registration offerings to make the conference more affordable for those who may not have been able to attend in the past. Share these two new registration options with your team.

  • First-Time Attendee Registration: $220
    • Are you new to the parks and rec industry? Have there been barriers for you to attend in the past? Join us in 2020 at this special first-time attendee rate, good for members and non-members!
  • One-Day Exhibit Hall Learning Lab Registration: $89
    • WRPA invites parks and maintenance professionals to the Exhibit Hall Learning Lab on Wednesday, April 22nd. Enjoy a full-day of custom content and exclusive access to our Conference vendors for a discounted rate.

Early-bird rates end February 3, 2020.
Remember, you can register today and pay later with our "invoice me" option.

WRPA Agency Member Highlight:
City of Spokane Aquatics Gains Best of Aquatics Honor

Image from Aquatics International

The City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Aquatics Program recently earned the Aquatics International Magazine's 'Best of 2019 Aquatics Honor' in the Community Outreach category.

Park Operations Assistant Director, Carl Strong had this to say on the subject:

A huge thank you to the Park Board, staff and other City partners making this a reality...

With the goal of giving everyone a chance to swim, the Park Board approved a proposal to make open swimming free for adults and children at all six City aquatic centers.

As a result, working with our partners, we have reduced barriers for the community to access open swim times across all neighborhoods and to increase attendance for open swim, especially at historically underutilized pools like Liberty, A.M. Cannon and Hillyard. We are also helping more kids learn to swim and increasing programming, so they have this important life skill and benefit from the health aspects of swimming.

A special thanks to Jennifer Papich, Josh Oakes, and the entire recreation team for implementing this great program and making this a huge success as we continue to look for opportunities to grow in the future.

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NRPA Parks & Recreation Magazine Highlight
"Pricing Strategies That Combat Social Injustice"
December 26, 2019, by John L. Crompton, Ph.D.

The key descriptors of social justice are “equality” and “fairness.” In recent years, the term has been extrapolated to a wide range of contexts, including environmental, race, gender and human exploitation. However, in its earliest forms it primarily was concerned with income inequality. In contemporary U.S. society, an explicit element of social justice remains the redistribution of resources to those who are economically disadvantaged. Pricing strategies play a role in exacerbating or amending social injustice in the context of parks and recreation.

Read the full NRPA article to learn more.

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WRPA Fitness/Athletic Networking Retreat a Huge Success
November 14–15, 2019 | Leavenworth, WA

The WRPA Fitness/Athletic Networking Network gathered in Leavenworth, WA for a two-day retreat on November 14–15, 2019. They discussed various hot topics, pain points, and the latest trends in municipal fitness and athletics. There were 21 park professionals present and everyone had a great time learning and networking together. Chelan County PUD graciously provided the meeting location at no charge, just a couple blocks away from downtown Leavenworth. It was a wonderful time to be in Leavenworth, as the Christmas lights were up, but it was not crowded.

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2020 Skills Development Webinar Program
New State Association Partnership

This year WRPA will be partnering with The Illinois Park and Recreation Association to offer 11 training webinars as part of their 2020 Skills Development Webinar Series running from February through December 2020.

As part of this partnership, WRPA members will receive the same member pricing as IPRA members and WRPA will also earn a commission of $25 for each registration.

Registration Rates for the Entire Series:
WRPA Member Price: $250
Non-Member Price: $350

The series is approved for a total of 1.1 CEUs, or 0.1 per month. CEUs are provided for all who attend, and CEU forms are delivered directly to participants upon IPRA’s receipt of webinar sign-in sheets.

Have questions?
Contact IPRA Education Director Duane Smith at [email protected] | 708-588-2288.

Members on the Move

  • Doug Nelson, PenMet Parks Executive Director — previously with the City of Federal Way

  • Kendall May, City of Spokane Valley Recreation Specialist — previously with City of Post Falls, ID

Did we forget someone? Are you a Member on the Move? Email us at [email protected]

We Want Your News!

Do you have news to share with your WRPA colleagues? Send any updates, photos, happenings, and socials to WRPA, so that we can feature your article in the next WRPAToday e-newsletter!

Send Us Your News Now!

Recent Job Postings


See what new opportunities await you in the field of recreation and parks by checking out WRPA's Job Board!

Visit the WRPA Job Board Today!

WRPA Event Calendar
Date: Event: Location:
February 3–4, 2020 Risk Management School Renton Community Center
April 21–24, 2020 WRPA Annual Conference & Tradeshow Tacoma Convention Center
September 28–29, 2020 Aquatics Network Conference McMenamins Anderson School

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WRPA Volunteer Opportunities

Thank You, 2019 Sponsors!

WRPA is membership-driven. We achieve only what we ourselves commit to doing. By sharing your energy and expertise, you will make WRPA an even more effective professional resource.

In fact, without you, we would not be able to offer any programs! Consider volunteering and helping our organization grow. Learn more about opportunities that have recently become available!

Volunteers are needed for the:

Join a WRPA Network

  • Administrative
  • Aquatics
  • Athletics & Fitness
  • Climate Change
  • Park Resources
  • Park Rangers
  • Facilities/Rentals/Marketing
  • Programmers
  • Event Management Software (EMS)
  • Student Connection Committee

Learn More

Annual Platinum Sponsor


Annual Gold Sponsor

Become a WRPA Gold Sponsor today.

Annual Silver Sponsors

Affinity Partner Sponsors

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Washington Recreation and Park Association

[email protected] | Tel: (206) 361-8869 |


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